21 Link Building Ideas

These days even the most hardcore SEO copywriter must know somewhere deep inside that on-page SEO elements are a tiny part of Google’s ranking algorithm. The heart of Google’s ranking algorithm is – and will remain – anchor text and inbound links.

Ideal Website Link Profile

  • One link per linking domain

    Instead of site wide links, try getting just one or two links from those websites that choose to link to yours.

    It’s hard to resist the temptation to get those site wide links, but site wide links aren’t exactly a normal linking pattern and may raise a red flag with Big Brother Google.

  • Fewer Reciprocal Links

    Reciprocal links are easy to detect and may be subject to negative valuation. Try to keep your reciprocal links under 5% of your total linkage.

  • Varied Anchor Text

    Use variations of your keywords in your anchor text. Using the exact same anchor text in the majority of your links may raise red flags insofar as natually occurring links tend to not use identical anchor text.

  • Varied IP’s

    Using dozens or even hundreds of domains on your own server and on a single Class C IP Block to create link popularity for yourself is so 2004. Move on. The search engines have figured this one out.

  • Related Links

    If you want to rank for Web Hosting, get links from pages that talk about web hosting. Better yet, get links from pages that have web hosting in the title of the page. Really, it works.

    Link Acquisition Strategies

  • Major Directories

    Submit to the major directories, such as DMOZ, Directory@V7N and Yahoo. These links may actually drive some traffic.

  • Second Tier Directories

    There are hundreds of second tier web directories out there like SevenSeek. Submission is sometimes just $20 or $30, so you really can’t go wrong. Only pay if it’s a one time fee.

  • Free Directories

    One of the nicer things on the Internet is a free submission web directory. There are hundreds of these web directories, usually generating revenue by displaying Adsense ads. Go submit. Now. You can read the rest of this later.

  • Topical Directories

    One of the better quality links that may give you targeted traffic is a listing in a topical web directory. If you sell widgets, go over to widget-world.com and get listing.

  • Related Sites

    Do a search on your favorite search engine. Note the top ten websites ranking for your search term. Report these sites to Google for spamming. Then offer these website owners a small annual fee to have your link appear on the index pages of their websites.

  • Reciprocal Linking

    Exchange links with a few of the better quality sites which deal with the same topics as your website.

  • Press Releases

    New product line? Company going public? Acquired another company? Any newsworthy event you may have, do a press release and submit it through PRweb.com.

  • Link Conducive Content

    Create useful informational pages which attract links. Offer a free tool, or advice. Forums often attract free links.

  • Free Stuff in Exchange for Links

    Ever wonder how phpBB.com got a PageRank of ten? They gave away a script for free, with a link back to phpBB on every page. We gave away free hosting and saw some sweet PR, too.

  • Paid Stuff in Exchange for Links

    The vast majority of vBulletin’s backlinks come from paying customers using their software. Ask your customers, politely, for a link.

    It doesn’t have to be web related, either. Even if you sell lumber, you can ask your contractor/customers to link back to your website from theirs.

  • Writing Articles

    Write articles. Include a link in your byline. Offer articles to related websites. Voila. Linkage.

  • Writing Testimonials

    One great way to get links and make people happy is to give other webmasters testimonials. Do you like your web host? Neither do I, but it doesn’t stop me from offering a testimonial to my web host which includes a link back to my website.

  • Supporting Good Causes

    A few of the better links we’ve acquired for v7n were acquired by donating to good causes, such as MozDev and Evolt.org

  • Blogs & Forums

    Contribute intelligently to blog or forum discussions. Include a link to your website in your signature.

  • Interviews

    Interview people who have friends. Their friends will link to the interview you place on your website. Or, if people like you, give interviews and make sure the interviewer includes a link to your website on the interview page.

  • Professional Organizations

    Do you belong to the AMA, the MRI or the BBQ? Most professional organizations have websites. They may already include your name and address – ask them to include a link to your website.

  • Free Hosted Doorway Pages

    Create a two or three page doorway site on Geocities. Include your keywords in the page titles. Include several links to your real website with your keywords in the anchor text. Provide doorway pages with limited number of links from dubious sources.

  • Awards

    Selling widgets? Have a Best Widget Resource Site Award. Give the award to every widget resource site on the Internet. Get them all to link to you. Schweeet!

  • Contests

    Have a contest. Create publicity. Get links. Even better if you can tick off a pompous windbag. More publicity.

  • Friends

    Seventeenth-century English author John Donne said, “No man is an island”. I really have no idea how that ties into this discussion, but I am sure you know people. Friends, family, people who think you are friends – these folks may have websites, and you may be able to force them into linking to your website. Who knows; it’s worth a try.

  • Natural Linkage

    Whatever you do, do it bigger and better than the other guys. Create content that is genuinely useful, and the links will come natually.

    1. Alexis DistinyAlexis Distiny01-18-2007

      Hey John,

      I really like the way you write your blogs and forums. Thought being from the SEO industry for such a long time I am alomst aware of all the tricks of SEO that you share in your blogs and forums, still I love the way you make simple information intersting through your choice of words and illustrations.

      Nice work… Do keep up the good work. ๐Ÿ™‚


    2. bilgibilgi03-02-2007

      tips are really cool ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. TimuTimu08-19-2007

      Thanks for the tips.. There are more link building tasks to utilize to be competitive

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